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Optionally Piloted Aircraft

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Recently every major OEM has announced plans for "optionally" or "remotely" piloted helicopters. The idea here is to take a proven platform, such as the Blackhawk, and make it a remotely operated vehicle. The only concept that must be proven to the "end user", the government in this case, is that the operation can be done consistantly and safely. In most cases the capabilities of the aircraft are established. Reports I've read indicate this program is growing legs, and quickly.


What are your thoughts? Is this an effort to reduce the exposure of aircrews to high risk environments? Reduce exposure to enemy weapon systems? Or, simply to remove the pilots from the aircraft all together?

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